Apartments' Boom Era Expected to Continue -- Here's Why | National Apartment Association

Apartments' Boom Era Expected to Continue -- Here's Why

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Apartments' Boom Era Expected to Continue -- Here's Why
Digested From "Moving On Up: Stage Set for Rents to Go Higher"
Wall Street Journal (01/14/13) by Eliot Brown

Since the economic meltdown, a surge in monthly rents has sparked new apartment development nationwide. Furthermore, demand is expected to outpace supply for the foreseeable future as apartment construction is still well below historical norms. As of November 2012, the Census Bureau reports there were 242,000 apartment units under construction, well below the 340,000-a-month average during the 2000s. While the pool of residents continues to grow, most rental units currently in the pipeline will not be available for occupancy until next year or 2015. Meanwhile, the strength of the rental apartment sector underscores some limitations of the recovery among the for-sale housing market. Tight lending terms and slow income growth are keeping many would-be home buyers out of the mortgage market. Alexander Goldfarb, a real-estate analyst at Sandler O'Neill & Partners, states, "The housing recovery is not affecting apartments at the ground level. Rents are going to keep going up." The prime renter age group -- 20 to 34 years old -- is on pace to grow by 552,000 to 65.7 million over the next couple of years. At the same time, many new apartment communities have yet to hit the market because lenders through much of 2011 and last year were initially wary of funding apartment construction just a few years removed from the real-estate boom having gone bust.
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Market Trend Insights

2013 Diamond Sponsors

Apartment Rents Rise as Vacancies Fall, Reis Reports
Digested From "Apartment Rents Continue to Rise as Vacancies Fall"
Wall Street Journal (01/08/13) P. A2; by Dawn Wotapka

Reis Inc. reports that the average nationwide monthly apartment rent was $1,048 in the fourth quarter 2012, a 0.6 percent increase from the third quarter and up 3.8 percent from a year earlier. The year-over-year increase was the largest since 2007. Meanwhile, the nation's average vacancy rate fell to 4.5 percent from 4.7 percent in the third quarter, which is the lowest rate since 2001's third quarter. Vacancy rates have fallen in some of the markets hit hardest by the housing bust, including Phoenix where apartment vacancies declined to 5.8 percent. The lowest vacancy rate tracked by Reis is New York City's 2.1 percent. While analysts say that rents cannot keep rising indefinitely, the higher rates are not deterring the renting public as rents continue to rise in such other cities as Seattle and San Francisco. Market observers say that fundamentals are expected to remain sound in 2013 for apartment owners as mortgage standards remain tight and gathering a down payment for a house is still tough. Jeff Donnelly, a real-estate analyst with Wells Fargo Securities LLC, says, on the other hand, "We are heading to being more of a renter nation. Young people today, they put much higher value on flexibility. . . . It doesn't seem like that's going to change."
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The Magic of Orlando's Apartment Boom Should Continue
Digested From "Forecasts Bank on Sunrail, Downtown"
Orlando Sentinel (FL) (01/13/13) by Mary Shanklin

Orlando's apartment construction boom is expected to continue throughout this year, especially in downtown Orlando and near Lake Nona's slowly burgeoning complex of medical-research facilities and hospitals. Additionally, several multifamily housing developments are expected to get underway in the coming months that have projected 2014 completion dates tied to the debut of Central Florida's $1.2 billion SunRail commuter train. Local officials note that the emergence of apartment communities in downtown Orlando has created a trade area that should attract a bevy of traditional-service retailers, including dry cleaners, convenience stores, and banks. In turn, the young professionals set to move there will almost certainly build demand for new bars, restaurants, and retail stores. Shelton Granade, who oversees the apartment sector for CBRE in Orlando, remarks, "I think that demand for renting is way up, and supply, even with the projects that are coming online, is way down." He went on to note that the local market absorbed about 1,500 new rental units in 2012, boosting supply in a market that has about 189,000 apartments. Still, the rate of new apartments remains down considerably from a decade ago when developers were adding between 6,000 and 7,000 rental units to a market with 160,000 apartments. Granade forecasts that asking rents are still depressed and so will likely continue growing. Metro Orlando's average asking rent is currently between 900 and $910 a month -- in the same range that it was in back in 2006.
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Why Big Money Investors Are Changing the Rental Landscape
Digested From "The New American Landlord"
CNBC News (01/10/13) by Diana Olick

CNBC's Diana Olick offered an on-air report chronicling the changing landscape of single family rentals, as more and more big money investors set their sights on neighborhood rentals. Just like mom-and-pop investors, these deep-pocketed individuals and companies are buying up the foreclosed homes to rent them out and turn a profit. Some are even turning their rental holdings into a real estate investment trust, or REIT. One such player is Aaron Edelheit, who as the CEO of the new American Home Real Estate Investment Trust owns roughly 2,000 such homes that he and his staff rent out. He now employs 150 full-time staffers to locate, acquire, rehab, and rent out foreclosed homes. Edelheit has received praise for not only giving his investors a steady cash flow, but for bringing a myriad of distressed properties back to their real value. More such companies are expected to go public as this trend grows.
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Multifamily Leads the CMBS Delinquencies Pack
Digested From "CMBS Delinquencies Finished 2012 Below 8 Percent" (01/11/13)

Fitch Ratings' latest index results show that U.S. commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) delinquencies closed out this past year with seven consecutive months of declines. CMBS delinquencies fell 18 basis points (bps) in December from a month earlier to finish at 7.99 percent. Such delinquencies began last year at 8.37 percent. Multifamily housing delinquencies slipped the most of any major property type last year despite having the highest rate of all property types. The multifamily rate, which started 2012 at 14.42 percent, dropped 430 bps to close out December at 10.12 percent.
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Apartment Owner Connor Group Welcomes New CFO
Digested From "Connor Group Hires New CFO"
Dayton Business Journal (01/10/13) by Olivia Barrow

The Connor Group has appointed Marshall Minor as its new CFO, succeeding Bob Holzapfel who has taken a new role at the company. Minor previously worked to raise capital and find strategic investors for for MGM Resorts' projects in Las Vegas, China, and the Middle East. He says he was drawn to The Connor Group due to its continued growth in different economic conditions, adding, "It was one of the few companies that actually grew during the downturn in the economy. . . . The success of the company obviously was a result of the people, the culture and leadership." The Connor Group currently owns and operates more than $1.4 billion in apartment assets. It specializes in high-end, luxury apartment communities, with more than 16,000 such rental units in such markets as Atlanta, Austin, and Dayton.
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Energy Benchmarking Key to Realizing Big Savings in Apts
Digested From "IMT Report: Energy Benchmarking Key to Realizing $9 Billion in Savings in Apartments and Condos"
San Antonio Express-News (Texas) (01/08/13)

A new Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) report, titled "Energy Transparency in the Multifamily Housing Sector," finds that the country's apartment stock holds great potential for major energy efficiency gains. Such gains, researchers say, would improve housing affordability by keeping residents' utility bills down. Several major cities have recently passed laws that require apartment owners to measure and disclose their communities' energy consumption. Such laws will give owners much better information about their apartments' energy use and how to reduce it. Meanwhile, policymakers, utilities, and even lenders will be able to use the resulting data to craft new programs for energy-efficient building. Some estimates have put potential energy savings from the nation's multifamily housing at $9 billion, with carbon reductions equivalent to shutting down 20 coal power plants. Of course, the multifamily housing sector is far too complex and fragmented for a one-size-fits-all policy. Indeed, the new IMT study describes numerous barriers to energy efficiency in multifamily housing, including dispersed property ownership, a general lack of information on buildings' energy performance, and the availability of capital to finance energy improvements. IMT recommends measures to address these and other challenges, such as integrating energy-performance information into real-estate listings in order for prospective apartment residents to know how efficient a community is before signing a lease.
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Austin's Apartment Market Stars in the Lone Star State
Digested From "Apartments a Hot Commodity in Austin" (01/07/2013) by Quita Culepepper

Austin currently boasts one of the hottest apartment rental markets in Texas. ALN Apartment Data Inc. says times have changed from just a few years ago when apartment owners and managers were giving away everything from a free TV to three months free rent to attract residents in a market that had become homeownership happy. Natalie Young, manager at A Plus Apartment Locators, says apartment hunters have to move fast in the current market. Such major companies as Apple, General Motors, and Visa are on pace to bring more than 2,200 new jobs to the state capital in the coming months. Young advises, "When you see an apartment, if you like it you need to rent it . Because if you don't the next day or even that same day, it could be gone." The good news for apartment residents is new communities are being built at a rapid clip, particularly in North and Northwest Austin. Currently, there are 135 apartment communities in that area containing approximately 37,000 units. At least another 2,100 apartments will be erected within the next couple of years. Young concludes, "We need them faster than they're even building them right now."
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Tishman Shows How to Bounce Back From Crisis
Digested From "Tishman Cuts the 'Financial Engineering'"
Wall Street Journal (01/09/13) P. C6; by Eliot Brown; Craig Karmin

Tishman Speyer Properties LP gave up $3.3 billion of investors' money three years ago when it surrendered an 11,200-apartment block in Manhattan to its creditors. Since then, the company has become a case study in how to rebound from the commercial property crisis by increasing its portfolio to more than $34 billion from $29 billion in 2010, with more than 12 million square feet under development. Rob Speyer, who runs the firm with his father, says the company has raised nearly $4.5 billion for deals and funds, and most of its holdings are now overseas. Moreover, the company no longer uses lenders' money to pay top prices for premium apartment and office towers. Speyer states, "The biggest lesson has been moderating our use of leverage. We did too much financial engineering, and we lost sight of what we were best at." However, while the lower debt levels are an improvement, many of the buildings the company now buys are still mostly vacant or with departing occupants.
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REO-to-Rental Market Heating Up and Set to Sizzle
Digested From "REO-to-Rental Market Quickly Becoming Asset Class"
Housing Wire (01/08/13) by Megan Hopkins

Over the next couple of years, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods (KBW) expects the REO-to-rental market to flourish and firmly establish itself as a potential institutional asset class. The single-family rental market traditionally has received its funding from retail or smaller institutional investors. As the inventory of bank-owned properties increases, though, so does the interest of investors toward a larger-scale investment in such space. KBW officials estimate that cash returns on investments in REOs are currently in the range of 5 percent to 7 percent. They note that REO-to-rentals provide more tangible cash flow than other distressed real estate. Apartment rentals are on the rise, having increased 4.5 percent since late 2009. In 2012's fourth quarter, Trulia calculated that rents are up 5.5 percent since November 2011. Meanwhile, recent CoreLogic data shows that the prices of single-family distressed properties are off 27 percent from their peak. By contrast, traditional properties have fallen only 21 percent. Consequently, REO-to-rental conversions are becoming increasingly attractive. KBW researchers note that REITs alone raised $6 billion to $9 billion for REO-to-rentals, suggesting potential acquisitions of between 40,000 and 90,000 properties.
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Lincoln Property Company Acquires Grand Campus Living
Digested From "Lincoln Property Company Acquires Grand Campus Living"
Marketwire (01/10/13)

Lincoln Property Company late last week acquired Grand Campus Living, the former student housing division of Phoenix Property Company, for an undisclosed sum. The addition will expand the company's current conventional apartment portfolio to include a student housing division. According to Lincoln Property officials, Grand Campus Living will continue to operate as a separate entity, with individual operations, accounting, marketing, and training departments. However, it is expected to benefit greatly from Lincoln's long-standing relationships in the multifamily housing sector. Lincoln Property ranks as the country's third largest apartment management firm. Scott Wilder, the company's executive vice president of residential management, states, "Grand Campus Living is an expert on student housing, and we're confident that their experience and knowledge will help Lincoln successfully merge into a market we've yet to explore." Indeed, Grand Campus Living currently provides a full range of management services to more than 7,200 beds nationwide, including student housing communities near Florida State University, Oregon State University, and the University of New Hampshire.
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Canadian REIT Wheels and Deals in U.S. Multifamily Market
Digested From "Canadian REIT Buys $633M of U.S. M-F Assets"
Commercial Property Executive (01/11/13) by Gail Kalinoski

Canada's Morguard North American Residential Real Estate Trust continues to make inroads in the U.S. multifamily housing market, with plans to acquire $633 million in apartment assets in seven states. The planned acquisitions include two dozen apartment communities. They are to be split into two purchases and done through subsidiaries. Both are on track to close by the end of March and will be financed via the assumption of mortgages of approximately $400 million, with a weighted average interest rate of 4.5 percent and other available sources of funding that were not specified. The first is for 12 apartment and townhome communities with a total of more than 3,700 rental units in such markets as Atlanta, Dallas, Denver and Tampa. Of those units, 2,200 were reportedly constructed in the last decade. The identity of the seller has not been disclosed. The second group of purchases is for a dozen apartment and townhome communities in Mobile, Ala.; Pensacola, Fla.; and southwest Louisiana. They are to be acquired from Morguard Corp., an Ontario-based property investor that owns a majority stake in the Morguard North American Residential REIT. These properties have an average age of just over 15 years. Following the close of the two transactions, Morguard North American Residential REIT will have stakes in 12,850 multifamily housing units across Canada and the United States worth around $1.5 billion.
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Fundraising Wrapped for Covenant Apartment Fund VII
Digested From "Apartment Investors Wrap $236M Raise"
Nashville Post (01/10/13)

Covenant Capital Group this past week wrapped up the fund-raising for Covenant Apartment Fund VII, its latest investment entity. The closing brings the total capital committed by high-net-worth individuals and institutions to $236 million. The fund will look to put that money to use by acquiring more apartment communities throughout the Nashville region and elsewhere. Govan White, managing partner and co-founder of Covenant Capital, states, "We believe the fund presents an attractive opportunity for investors to capitalize on compelling apartment investment opportunities in the current economic environment." Covenant, which has raised over $725 million of equity capital since 2011, now manages apartment communities throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions that together contain nearly 19,500 rental units.
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Deals for Multifamily Brokerage Firms Heat Up
Digested From "Warren Buffett, JLL Buy Multifamily Brokerage Firms"
CoStar Group (01/09/13) by Tim Trainor

Considering investors' strong and sustained interest in multifamily housing, it was only a matter of time before that interest extended to brokerage firms that specialize in bringing buyers and sellers of apartment communities together. Two recent deals stand out. In late December, Berkadia Commercial Mortgage acquired Hendricks & Partners, a Phoenix-based multifamily sales brokerage firm with 37 offices nationwide. Berkadia, a commercial real estate lender and special servicer, was formerly part of Capmark Financial. It is now owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway. The second noteworthy deal in this niche was Jones Lang LaSalle recently expanding its multifamily brokerage operations in Texas by purchasing The Apartment Group Ltd. Following the acquisition, The Apartment Group President Jeff Price will join JLL's Capital markets team as a managing director. He will lead the company's overall multifamily platform in the Lone Star State. It should be noted that JLL positioned its acquisition as a capital markets play, stating that the addition of The Apartment Group supports its overall plan to become the leading capital markets provider in commercial real estate. In the last four years, JLL has added more than 75 multifamily housing sales and debt-and-equity specialists to its capital markets roster.
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Legislative/Legal News

Emergency! Thousands of Mass. Communities Lack Sprinklers
Digested From "Mass. Housing Complexes by the Thousands Lack Sprinklers"
Lowell Sun (MA) (01/13/13) by Grant Welker

In Massachusetts, thousands of apartment and condominium communities built across the Greater Lowell area during a boom in the 1960s and '70s today lack sprinklers. That is because they have received exemptions from the state building code. Such an exemption could have contributed to two deaths earlier this month at Woodcrest Condominiums in Chelmsford, one community that has not been required to have sprinklers. In addition to the two who perished in the blaze, five others were injured. "That size building today would be required to have a sprinkler system," lamented Chelmsford Fire Chief Michael Curran. Over the years, though, there have been only a few instances where Massachusetts fire safety laws have been changed in response to specific events.
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Tulsa Apartment Owners Soon to Be Licensed to Rent
Digested From "Bartlett Proposal Would Require Owners of Apartment Complexes to Be Licensed by the City"
Tulsa World (01/12/13) by Kevin Canfield

Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett is pushing to require owners of multifamily residential rental properties be licensed by the city as a way of ensuring that these communities are well maintained. Bartlett explains, "I simply want the ability to make certain that all properties are safe, clean, up to a reasonable standard, and that if there are problems -- both legal and otherwise -- they can be dealt with." If apartment owners fail to meet the proposed standards set out by city officials, the mayor added, "the city would have the ability to order a facility to cease business immediately." Bartlett notes that addressing problems at apartment communities has proven especially tricky in instances when the owner lives out of state. Tulsa must currently go through a long, cumbersome, and frequently expensive process before it can gain control of a vacant or abandoned property. "By having the ability to shut down a business," Bartlett concludes, "I assume we would have the ability to catch somebody's attention."
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Portland Council Circles the Block on Apartment Parking Plan
Digested From "Council Circles the Block on Apartment Parking Plan"
Portland Tribune (OR) (01/10/13) by Steve Law

In Oregon late last week, Portland city commissioners agreed to seek short-term fixes that might limit the number of apartments being built without resident parking. Any fixes, though, will likely come too late to affect a spate of apartments now under construction or in the development pipeline. In the last several years, there has been a bevy of developers taking advantage of 1980s and '90s city codes that encouraged the development of new apartments without resident parking spaces. Those city policies were aimed at boosting the use of public transportation, bicycling and other alternatives to automobiles, while reducing the number of big surface parking lots. But the flurry of new multifamily construction proposed in the wake of the Great Recession has caused many residents of eastside neighborhoods considerable alarm. They are afraid they will not be able to park in front of their homes because apartment residents will be forced to use on-street parking. Some are concerned their neighborhood could wind up like Northwest Portland or even Manhattan, two places where parking is extremely difficult to find.
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NAA Announcements

Your Network is Your Net Worth at the 2013 NAA Education Conference & Exposition

With more than 6,200 multifamily housing professionals expected in attendance, they’ll be no shortage of opportunities to build your business network and engage new partners at the 2013 NAA Education Conference & Exposition, June 19-22 in San Diego.

Beginning with the Conference Kick-Off Celebration & Reception the afternoon of June 19 to ready you to make the most of your conference experience, to time spent perusing the latest and greatest offered by the hundreds of apartment service partners during the Exposition, opportunities abound to foster new connections and reinvigorate long-standing relationships.

No expense will be spared, no icebreaker will go unconsidered—just imagine the networking potential on Thursday, June 20, alone:

Start making new friends from 2 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. while meeting with exhibitors, demoing their products and catching up with colleagues during the Exposition Grand Opening, and remember to use the new, free one-on-one appointment-tool, myNAA Planner, to preview the exhibitor list and begin building connections.

Afterward, join the fun with maintenance technicians from across the country as they compete for awards, prizes and bragging rights during the 2013 Maintenance Mania® National Championship, from 5 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.

Cheer yourself hoarse, but remember to save some energy for the NAA Rocks the Block Opening Party from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. for the 2013 NAA Opening Party. It’ll be a night to remember as NAA closes to the public two full blocks of the famed and historic Gaslamp Quarter, where streets, sidewalks, restaurants and shops are reserved just for you to enjoy your very own block party with all the new and exciting people you’ll no doubt meet during this jam-packed day.

You don’t have to be an extrovert to enjoy these festivities (and much more), but you do need to register. Don’t delay: Sign up by Feb. 1 and save $400 by visiting the conference website.

Make sure to book your housing as soon as you register—rooms are going fast. Visit the NAA Education Conference website for information and reservations for all official NAA Education Conference hotels.
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Exchange and Engage With Top Executives at the 2013 NAA Student Housing Conference & Exposition

Student housing lease-ups in 2013 on your mind? How about techniques for identifying and hiring top talent for management positions? For insight into these and other leading issues, don’t miss your chance to hear from top-tier executives during an open Q & A following the Exchange and Engage with Executives session during the 2013 NAA Student Housing Conference & Exposition, Feb. 25-27 at the Aria Resort in Las Vegas.

Back by popular demand, thought leaders from some of student housing’s largest companies will offer attendees candid feedback touching on a wide-range of topics, including a discussion of 2012 lease up issues, overview of traditional operating costs by specific property type, the top three concerns facing the student housing industry and much more.

Register now to ensure you don’t miss any wisdom—and a chance to pose a question during the live Q & A—from Bob Clark, CEO, Peak Campus Management; Scott Duckett, COO, Campus Advantage; Miles Orth, EVP & COO, Campus Apartments; and Christine Richards, COO & SVP, EDR.

Visit for registration, schedule, housing and the latest announcements. And remember to use the official hashtag #NAAStudentConf to engage, discuss and follow the conference.
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NAA Green Conference Registration Now Open, Keynote Speaker Announced

Don’t miss the chance to register today for the 2013 NAA Green Conference, April 15-17, in Baltimore.

Join forward-thinking industry colleagues and learn ways to improve your community’s energy efficiency and bottom-line performance through a cutting-edge lineup of education topics and panel presentations at the NAA Green Conference.

You also will have the opportunity to share valuable experiences about “sustainability” successes at your property and discover additional, proven, cost-effective strategies by networking with other industry professionals and suppliers at the NAA Green Conference. Featured are sponsored hospitality lounges where attendees and supplier partners can discuss the exciting growth potential of sustainable apartment management.

Come learn from acclaimed green-industry expert Andrew Winston, a best-selling author of “Green to Gold” and “Green Recovery,” who will serve as the event’s keynote speaker.

Find out how your business can profit from environmental thinking as Winston guides you about what works—and what doesn’t—when companies go green.

Save $200 off the onsite registration rate before Feb. 15 by registering today. Cost increases by $100 after Feb. 15 and by $200 after April 5.

Visit the 2013 Green Conference website for all hotel and travel information.
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Two New Ways to Brand Your Company at NAA Education Conference

If your organization is a supplier or property management, you now can consider branding your company in June at the 2013 NAA Education Conference & Exposition. For the Opening Party, Thursday, June 20th your team can “own” a restaurant for the night at the party in the San Diego Gaslamp Quarter.You can even team up! See the details here. For the Thursday Keynote, we have a special Sponsorship that includes introducing Sir Richard Branson showcasing your brand with a true business innovator. Explore the opportunity here.
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NAAEI Teams With Apartment All-Stars, Multifamily Insiders

NAAEI joins forces with Apartment All Stars and Multifamily Insiders to host Webinar Wednesday Training Series.

NAAEI is teaming up in 2013 with the largest premium webinar series in the industry to provide state and local association members with access to industry thought leaders to discuss innovative ideas, best practices and emerging industry trends. These webinars will give participants the tools they need to become industry superstars in their own right. The Webinars:

• will cover industry trends and timely topics that benefit both on- and off-site staff
• are available at a one-time or subscription price
• offer NAAEI Continuing Education Credits (CEC)

Cost: The webinar series averages two webinars per month, and for a limited time, we have discounted this subscription rate to $49.99/month, a discount of 17%.

Learn more today!
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Award-Winning Communities: Please Enter 2013 PARAGON Awards

The Call for Entries for the 2013 PARAGON Awards is now open! If you would like to nominate an individual, an affiliated association or a community that represents our industry's models of excellence, please visit the PARAGON Awards Overview page. Entries must be received by Monday, March 18, 2013. Winners will receive their PARAGON award during the NAA Awards Celebration breakfast with Bert Jacobs during the 2013 NAA Education Conference & Exposition, Saturday, June 22, in San Diego. They will also be featured in the September 2013 issue of units Magazine, NAA’s monthly publication that reports on the apartment industry.
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Find an NAAEI Designation Course Near You!


Roanoke Valley Apartment Association
January, 2013

South Dakota Multi-Housing Association
March, 2013

Greater Charlotte Apartment Association
April, 2013

CAM Online


Austin Apartment Association
January – February, 2013

Apartment and Office Building Association of Metropolitan Washington
February – March, 2013

South Dakota Multi-Housing Association
February – March, 2013

Rental Housing Association of Boston
April – May, 2013


Roanoke Valley Apartment Association
January, 2013


Apartment and Office Building Association of Metropolitan Washington
April 2013

NALP Online

To find more courses in your area, click here.

For more information about any of the classes listed, please contact Kimberly McCrossen at or 703/518-6141 ext. 121.
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January 15, 2013

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